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Of Course It’s Free. You Owe Me.

It seems there’s been an outbreak of Entitlement Syndrome across the city in which I live. We’ve yet to determine it’s exact origin, but we suspect the pandemic began somewhere between 2003 and 2013. Symptoms include:

  • Expecting a paycheck for existing. 
  • Expecting a paycheck for procreating, and of course, existing.
  • Expecting groceries, utilities, gasoline vouchers, rent, and living expenses to be paid in full simply for, well, existing.
  • Inability to make it to your free doctor’s appointments on time or at all because you like to sleep in late. 
  • Fear of being independent.
  • Unwillingness to accept responsibility for anything at all.
  • Sudden outbursts of anger when you don’t get exactly what you want when you want it, regardless of the fact that you’re getting it for free.
  • Lying to government and healthcare agencies in order to obtain more free shit simply because you have a pulse. 

I am all about helping those in need. I fully support helping people who are unable to help themselves. I am not against, in fact I am an advocate of programs designed to help those who are truly in need. I would never, ever knowingly allow someone to go hungry if I could help it. I believe that all living beings are to be cared for regardless of their income or lack thereof. It is the attitude of entitlement that some people display that sends me into a fit of fury. I feel that if you are a physically and mentally capable person, it is your responsibility to earn the things that you have. Sure, we all like a little bonus here and there. I can’t say that I’ve earned every single thing that I’ve acquired in my entire lifetime. Know this, though – It is not my civic duty to work 12 hours a day, 7 days a week to make sure that you and your family live comfortably while I struggle to pay my bills. It is not my personal responsibility to bust my ass while you do nothing to help yourself. Furthermore, if you do get something for nothing, show some appreciation rather than “more more more”. I don’t owe you anything. Nothing. Zilch. The world owes you nothing. If you want it, get it. If you can’t get it, be grateful for what you do have. There are many people who are truly unable to do for themselves who would give everything they have for independence and self-sufficiency. I’ve had the pleasure of knowing numerous people who lack the very simple, physical capabilities that you take for granted, and they strive to provide for themselves and their families without complaint. Their struggles are real. They are grateful not only for tangible things. They are grateful for each waking moment they’ve been blessed to live and each breath they take.

I am astounded by the number of people that I come in contact with on a daily basis who think nothing of their sedentary, goalless lifestyles. It is infuriating that some people have absolutely no gratitude or appreciation for the luxuries afforded to them every day. I can accept the fact that some people don’t realize how good they’ve got it. What I cannot handle is being verbally assaulted because your freebies aren’t “enough”. Are you kidding me? Really?

It the blatant abuse of “hand up” programs that turns my head into a red, hot boiling steam-kettle.

“I can’t make my appointments cos I like to sleep late and I don’t like to drive all the way across town to see you. Can’t home health come see me in the afternoons so I don’t have to get up and go nowhere?” 

“No. Your Medicaid doesn’t cover home health, and with your diagnosis of low back pain, we can’t justify sending a home health nurse out to your home. You’ll need to get up earlier and try to make it here if you want to be seen.”

What do you mean, ‘I need to get up early’? I have a sleep disorder and I’m trying to get disability…”

Weird. Your H&P mentioned nothing of the sort. You’re 20 years old. Buy an alarm clock and a coffee pot like the rest of the world. 

“No, sir. You’ll need to come in for your appointment like everyone else.”

That’s ridiculous. Why don’t Medicaid pay for that? I should get home health. Someone better come out to my house and fix my back or I ain’t gonna come!” he argues.

Well, I’ll tell you why no one is coming to your home. You’re young, younger than I am and you’re able bodied. You don’t work, and you’re home all day and available to come to any appointment we give you. We all like to sleep in. I do, too. We still have to get up early and be productive citizens, so that we can pay for you, too. You’re able to party it up in 5 inch heels on Friday nights, yet you find movement of any sort absolutely excruciating when you arrive to my office.You’re non-compliant and you can’t seem to remember your home-exercises that you were given to relieve your pain. You no-show to 75% of your scheduled appointments and when you do show up, you’re decked out in a wardrobe that puts the entire contents of my closet to shame. The cell phone that you’re calling me from costs the equivalent of 3 of my car payments.  You’re paying absolutely nothing for the care that you’re receiving, and yet you refuse to participate in your own healing. You sit at home all day and collect money that you feel you are owed simply because blood flows through your veins. Okay, your back hurts. News flash – if you got your ass up off that damned sofa and DID something, you wouldn’t need home health. You’re sore because you lay sedentary all day watching television. Why on God’s Green Earth should we send someone out to your home? You’d probably sleep through our knock at the door anyway.

“Well, you need to make sure you tell the Medicaid Agency all my visits when they call. I need that gas money. You guys don’t have to tell them the exact dates…” I nod and check the computer. “Yes sir. They’re all listed. I’ll make sure they communicate your appointments to the agency when they call. Keep in mind that you failed to attend 8 of 12, though.”

And it never fails – the agency calls to verify appointments, and there are always at least 10-15 more appointments pending reimbursement that the patient never showed for. I receive a call a week later, usually with a lot of cussing and carrying on because “my check was short”. It’s not a payday. The system is designed to assist you, not to support you. ASSIST you in getting to your medical appointments for that back of yours that needs a free massage 3 times a week. Why are you screaming at me? You failed to make it to your appointment because you didn’t want to get out of bed that day. How is that my fault?

I had to wait in the waiting room for 15 minutes. Do I get a meal ticket?”.

No. You do not get a free meal ticket because you came to the doctor today. 

Why not? I should get a meal ticket for having to come see you today.”

I don’t get comped meals when I go to the doctor. Why should you?

I have Medicaid. They don’t pay for that? I had to wait out here in the lobby and I had to get up early today.”

No. Lunch is not on us today. 

I don’t think I will ever comprehend the “helping me is not enough” mentality. Give me more, more more, right now, but don’t expect me to work for it, and damned sure don’t expect me to appreciate it. Give me something for nothing, and don’t you dare expect me to help myself. 

What a shame.

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Quick Notes:

In no particular order, I here are a few thoughts for the morning:

Apparently my Ambien makes me sleep walk. It also makes me go outside in my sleepclothes and smoke cigarettes at 2 AM. Another grand effect, to my dog’s dismay, is that I locked Jeckyl on the back patio and went back to sleep. I’m quite certain that my upstairs and downstairs neighbors just loved that. I’m sorry, Jeckyl. Perhaps it’s time to switch up the sleep aid. 

I woke at 4 AM. It’s pouring rain and if I could think of a believable reason to call out from work today, I would be down like a flat tire. Unfortunately, I can’t think of anything and I need the money, so it looks like I’ll be hitting the hospital halls in T minus one hour. Hrmph.

 

The Versatile Blogger Award

My Award

Yesterday afternoon was one of the busiest days I’ve had in the past 4 years. We must have seen 200 patients, and while my busier days seem to fly right by, this day was dragging quite slowly. I sat down at my desk to begin working charts when my phone notification went off. Normally I ignore it, but something told me to go ahead and check it. I’m most certainly glad that I did, too! It seems that the lovely the mmmmm family has nominated me for ‘The Versatile Blogger Award’. I have to admit, this totally made my day. Ok, ok… It actually made my year. What can I say? I’ve never been nominated for any kind of anything when it comes to blogging, so once I read, and reread my notification, I was elated! I’ve just recently started blogging, so the notion that someone thought my blog entertaining enough to nominate surely made me feel fantastic – and grateful. I feel a bit under-dressed as I graciously accept my nomination, but hey – my “thank you” is just as heartfelt in my scrubs as it would be in any evening gown. So thank you, thank you, thank you! You’ve made my day!

It feels good when someone relates. I know it shouldn’t matter, but it gives me a whopping sense of elation when I see that little orange notification icon at the top of my screen. Forget the Golden Ticket, Charlie! This is way better! So, thank you so much the mmmmm family for making my ultra-dreadful day into a day of joy! I appreciate all who have come my way and thank you for reading and for the follows. You guys are awesome!!!

So, I’m hoping that I am not too late on this one. Here are the rules:

  • Display the Award Certificate on your blog.
  • Announce your win with a post. Make sure you post a link back to me as a ‘thank you’ for the nomination.
  • Present 15 awards to 15 deserving bloggers.
  • Leave them a comment to let them know after you have linked them to a post.
  • Post 7 interesting things about yourself.

7 Interesting things about moi? Well, let’s see…

  1. When I was 15, I managed to sneak from my home in SC to NC for Lollapalooza 93. I jammed front row to Arrested Development, Primus, and many other awesome bands. I even got my nose pierced! Once I returned home from my “church trip”, my new nose ring was promptly snatched out, and I was grounded for 6 months. It was totally worth it.
  2. I’ve never really lived anywhere long enough to establish a set social circle. This was one of the many “perks” of being a military brat.
  3. I drink at least 7 cups of coffee a day. If I wake up without coffee, my day is thrown into a total funk and everyone in my path is destined to share my misery.
  4. My son will never know this, but he is named after the lead singer of Duran Duran.
  5. I am excellent fisherman! Nothing beats fishing from your own dock in Southwest Florida.
  6. I spent an entire summer learning how to help build a staircase, lay sheetrock, and turn an attic into an extra bedroom. Of course, the incentive was that this extra bedroom would be my own private bedroom with my own Swatch telephone.
  7. I’ve wanted to be a cardiothoracic surgeon since I was 7 years old.

There ya go! A few tidbits about me. Now, without further adieu – here are my nominations:

Gotta Find a Home

HarsH ReaLiTy

Book of Mohs

Not Taken, Not Available

The Sadder But Wiser Girl

bittersweet

Johnbalaya

life on wry

Amusingz

The Open Suitcase

Grow up proper

They’ve Gone And Done It Again.

Just as soon as my upstairs neighbors begin to give my overly-imaginative mind a rest, they’ve gone and done it again.

The entire 3rd floor and side of my building is lit up like Radio City Music Hall. I’m not sure if they’re shining industrial-strength spotlights or they’re guiding lost ships at sea from up there, but I fully expect to see Batman or the Rockettes show up before the night is through. Image

Just Like Mom Used To Make

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I would like to thank Dunkin Donuts for a dining experience reminiscent of meal time at Mom’s house. Who knew that some 15 years after leaving home and heading out into the great, big world of adulthood, this establishment would hold true to the old saying, “Just Like Mom Used To Make”? When I arrived yesterday morning, I was famished. The posted menu with all of it’s combos and pictures really made my mouth water, so much that I could hardly contain my excitement for the breakfast feast in which I was about to partake. That’s when I saw it, in all of it’s golden, flaky glory.

Combo #16 – Chicken, Bacon and Cheese Croissant with Hashbrowns & Large Drink.

Holy Cannoli, I’d never seen anything so breathtakingly delightful! I’d stumbled upon Saturday Morning Breakfast Heaven. Fantastic! Unable to further contain myself, I took my place at the counter.

The young lady who took my order was truly a treat. While I’ve never considered reverse psychology as a marketing strategy, I will say that she employed this new method without hesitation or restraint. “Is your tea home-brewed or is it instant?” I asked. “You don’t want that,” she answered. “Is it bad?” I asked. “No, I made it…” she replied. Her uncanny ability to assess my personal tastes without even having to look up from her cell phone was as close as I’ve come to mental telepathy in my 35 years on this planet. Let’s give credit where credit is due. She knew I probably wanted the tea, but sensed some hesitation in my voice. I get it. Tell me I don’t want it, and of course I’m going to want it even more! Kudos to you, young lady! “I’ll take a large sweet tea.” I continued with my order. “I’d also like the #16 – Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant, please.” She hurried me along toward the end of the counter. “Your order will be up shortly.”

The wait was not long. I’m still reeling in shock that the young chef was able to create my food items in less than five minutes. After all, he put an immense amount of thought and effort into creating my meal. Not only did my meal come out after a few short minutes, but the young man preparing it took the liberty of deciding what it was that I really wanted, and what I did not actually want  or need. “Order 177“, he called out. I practically hurdled the booth the get to the counter. There it was, my chicken croissant, basking in all of it’s glory. 

Except it wasn’t a chicken croissant. There was no croissant at all, actually. I’ll admit, this threw me for a bit of a loop, as surely I had said “Chicken, Bacon & Cheese Croissant”. What was this before me? Dumbfounded, I asked. “Sir, I believe this may be the wrong order. I ordered a croissant, and this, well… I’m not sure what this is.”

He glanced down at the breakfast sandwich. “Yeah, it’s yours.”

I must be confused. “Well, no, actually I ordered the croissant…” I said as I nudged the sandwich closer to him.  He nodded again. “Right. That’s it right there, ma’am“.  He pushed the sandwich back toward me. “I made it on a hard roll for you instead of a croissant.” 

You did wha?

If ever the universe were to come to a screeching halt, it did at that moment, as cars crashed and glass shattered. Babies screamed and buildings crumbled before me.

“You did what?” I stumbled. I reexamined my sandwich. Sure enough, in place of my buttery croissant stood a hard, powdery roll. Atop the roll lay a single piece of chicken, some bacon, cheese and...what’s this? Sauce. 

Sensing the very real possibility that I may fly into cardiac arrest at any moment, the young man inquires, “Did you want the croissant?“. “Well yes. It is pictured on a croissant, and it is described as a croissant. Yes, yes… I would like a croissant. Could you tell me, please, exactly what is the sauce that is all over the chicken? I didn’t realize that it came with a sauce…” 

Oh, I added barbecue.” he smiles proudly.

“Does it normally come with barbecue?” I’m barking now. At this point, I fully expected Freddy Krueger to lunge over the counter. My breakfast dream had turned into a breakfast nightmare. This just couldn’t be.

No, I thought barbecue sauce would be good,” he replies, “so I just added it.

He pushed the sandwich back at me. 

While I can’t say that I was particularly pleased at the time, I finally see the big picture. Dunkin Donuts, you’ve trained your employees well. As a matter of fact, your entire staff played an instrumental role in reminding me how much I missed eating at Mom’s. You knew what I didn’t know all along. It wasn’t the golden croissant or the plain chicken sandwich meat that I was longing for. It wasn’t the sweet tea or the hashbrowns in which I delighted. It was that down-home, “eat what you get or eat nothing at all” feel from my childhood that I yearned. “Just like Mom used to make.

 

 

Milk And Honey – It’s Sleepytime, Baby.

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While I don’t normally review any sort of product, like, ever, I feel compelled to write a short review on this product. This is mainly because I suffer terribly from insomnia, and I know many other people struggle with the same issue.

Yesterday whilst strolling through my local grocer, I came upon a bottle of Febreze “Sleep Serenity” Spray. I glanced at it skeptically. “Yeah, right. My room will just wind up smelling like a French Whore (as my ex-stepfather used to say).” I study the label. “Warm Milk and Honey” it reads. I twist the nozzle, and spray.

Now, I’ve never actually smelled, or even considered the idea of Warm Milk and Honey, but lo and behold, I could have curled up right there on the waxed floor and drifted off to oblivion. I purchased it, rushed home, and doused my apartment in this new, comforting scent. It’s a warm, inviting fragrance. Not so much reminiscent of Grandma’s house, which is fine by me as Grandma’s house smells a little creepy in my opinion. It’s more of a fuzzy, soothing, lingering scent – lingering in a good way, unlike many of the sprays that smell terrifically refreshing for a moment, and then WHOOSH, it’s gone. 

I highly recommend this product for anyone who’s into the whole aromatherapy thing, or for anyone who has gone out of their way and their minds to help induce a night of slumber. It’s pretty fantastic and worth the $2.58 I spent.

Febreze Warm Milk and Honey mixed with the Ambien tablet that I am about to devour, and I fully expect a good 6 hours of slumber to come. 🙂

Only time will tell. 🙂

Manhandling A Stranger.

For those who know me, you know that I am completely terrified of spiders. It’s not just an average, “Yikes, a spider! Kill it!” type of fear. This fear can turn me from a stone-strong statue of a woman to a weeping, frenzied storm of terror in less than a nanosecond. Let’s put it this way, if you’re going to rob or assail me, forget the pistol or the blade. Just dangle a Daddy Long Leg within a 10 foot radius of where I am standing, and I can assure you, you’ll be leaving with my purse, my car, my shoes, and anything else you desire. That, or you’re doing to die. Either way, 8 dangling, dancing legs will produce a more profound effect on me than a man-made weapon any day.

Case in point. A few nights ago, I decided that I was going to order pizza. I usually wait right outside my door for the deliveryman, as I have two very loud, ferocious dogs that love to intimidate anyone who dares venture anywhere remotely close to my residence. I see the pizza man pull in through the complex gate, and I head outside to meet him. As I’m standing there waiting, my eyes are drawn to the door across the hall. The neighbors porch light is burned out, but I am still able to make out a menacing shadow above their door.

“Holy shit!” I scream. It’s a spider. Not a regular spider-spider, but a monstrous Haunted-House Style spider, legs outstretched from the top of the door frame and over, sprawled out and ready to pounce in full Battle-Spider mode. “Nope.” I walk back inside. Looks like I’m not having pizza tonight, unless Delivery Man finds a way to slip it under the door to me. A knock at my door, and I fly into a panic. Do I open the door, snatch the food and throw him some cash? I’d be willing to forego an extra $10 to him just to avoid Big Scary out there.

I open the door quickly, and peer past the man carrying my food. Suddenly, something tells me that I need to warn him. What if it pounces as he’s leaving? I would want someone to warn me. In a calm voice, so calm as to actually alarm the man before me, I say, “Whatever you do, do not back up and do not go near the door behind you.” His eyes widen with confusion. He turns around slowly, perhaps expecting a weapon-wielding robber, or a rabid animal. He studies the door, and then it comes – “Holy fucking shit! Look at that thing!”. He squints his eyes and starts towards it. That is when any social boundary ever instilled in me crashed and burned, right then and there. I grab him forcefully a pull him to me. “No! You can’t!” I shout. He stops, glances at my hand on his arm, and looks at me.

Silence.

Oh my God. I am so sorry!” I mumble. Yep. I’ve just manhandled the pizza man. “Here’s $25, keep the change.”

He hands me the pizza, shakes his head, and I close the door as fast as humanly possible. Ten minutes later, I peek outside to see if Big Scary is still looming above the doorframe.

He’s gone. Good? No. Now I don’t know where he is…

This week I’ve made a conscious effort to not only avoid going near the door across the hall, but I avoid that side of the hallway altogether. I also haven’t ordered pizza from Dominos since.

Love Thy Neighbor, Even If She May Be A Peeping Tom.

I’ve come to two conclusions. The first being I am completely obsessed with the goings-on in the apartment above me, and secondly that the apartment above me is being inhabited by 150 people. My second conclusion further reinforces my first.

I’m not sure how they do it, but somehow they’ve managed to occupy the place to full capacity. I live in the largest of all the buildings on my block with 3 floors with 12 units in it. I’m smooshed right smack dab in the middle of everyone and everything, and I LOVE it. My upstairs neighbors are loud. Loooooud… And when I say loud, I mean there are times when I find myself wondering if they’re throwing dressers and tables and barbells and bowling balls across the house as some weird sort of midnight ritual. There have been times when I’ve wondered if The Harlem Globetrotters have taken residence above me. The family that lives above me moved here from India about 9 months ago. There are two elderly women, a couple of older men, a couple of mid-30’s men and women, a few younger college-aged kids, and 2 or 3 small children whom I see on a regular basis. They play loud Middle Eastern music that makes me smile despite the fact that my door frames are shaking and my dogs are howling throughout the songs. When I open my patio doors, I hear foreign conversation and laughter. I smell their cooking and wonder what they’re eating. I imagine whatever it is, it’s beautiful. I’ll bet it was handmade by Daadima and it’s as colorful and intricate as the dresses she wears. My upstairs neighbors are always friendly in passing. I’d be willing to bet that if I walked upstairs and asked to join them in the Heavenly feast they’re consuming, they would welcome me with no hesitation. They are super friendly. However, they do not make any apologies for their boisterous living above.

I remember one incident recently that had my mother reeling, ready to storm upstairs and totally blast off. We were sitting on the patio one evening, watching the sun float lazily over the lake. One of my favorite things to do after a long shift is to sit outside and drink cup after cup of coffee. I contemplate my day, clear my mind, and lose myself in my drink. Mom and I were talking about the day’s events, recounting the craziness at work and enjoying our little relaxation ritual, when suddenly we are surprised by a ritual from above.

SPLASH!

Down pours a torrential stream of water from the patio above, through the crevices in the wooden planks that separate the neighbor’s floor from my patio ceiling. “What the Hellllllllll,” my mother cries, her Alabama drawl shrill and panicked. Another wave of liquid splashes down upon us, into my coffee, all over our scrubs, and covers the table. I jump up and push back my heavy, wrought iron chair. My mom looks up with bewilderment.

Ohhhh nooooooo. I’ll be right there…” comes a voice from above, and suddenly I see a little eye peering through the crack above me. “Oh no, no, noooo… I’m coming. Please you wait. Be right there…”  And before I know it, there is a knock at my front door, and a small Indian woman standing before me. I open the door and she is giggling nervously. “I am so sorry. I am so very sorry. This happen when I do offering, my prayer. I don’t mean to wet you. I should do this somewhere else, then, maybe, no…?” She produces a small, silver pot before me, and nods toward it. “See, my prayer.” She smiles, and I start giggling, too. “No, ma’am. You’re just fine. It was hot outside anyway. It’s really no bother at all.” It really is no worry, as she’s just reinforced my fascination with her family upstairs.

She smiles, heads back toward the stairs, then suddenly turns around. “Maybe you put plants on patio, and I water them, too. Yes?”  I nod. “Yes, Ma’am.”

This is just one of the daily incidents that occur between my neighbors and I. It is typically one-sided, me wondering what they’re doing as they live their day to day lives.

Still, I am truly convinced, and you will never make me believe otherwise, that there are hundreds of people up there, dancing and running with bricks attached to their feet. There may be livestock up there, stomping around as I watch the white plaster crumble from the ceiling onto my bed at midnight. Perhaps they all have Pogo sticks. Perhaps they’re slam dancing. Perhaps they’re not really doing anything at all, except living, which is a lot more that I do in my apartment. My mother finds it strange that it doesn’t bother me. She finds it even more bizarre that I, well, love it.

“Doesn’t that drive you crazy? You should call and complain…”

“Nah. I like the raucous…” I say. As I lay in bed at night, staring up at the ceiling, I thumb through all the wild scenarios in my mind. “Perhaps they’ve adopted an elephant…” Unlikely, but an enjoyable thought to entertain nonetheless.

I can only continue to speculate, and that’s just as entertaining to me….

I totally love my upstairs neighbors, all 150 of them. 🙂Image

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lifelessonswithallie

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Mike is happy.

Relatively.

adoptingjames

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Bark Time

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rachelmankowitz

The Cricket Pages

Project Light to Life

A bucket list blog: exploring happiness, growth, and the world.

The Open Suitcase

A Miscellany of Travel Tidbits, Tips and Tales

Dr Nicholas Jenner

Online Therapist, Author

Grow up proper

A raw view on life

Playing Your Hand Right

Showing America how to Live

life on wry

Life as a sandwich generation x’er, stacked with irony. As a ‘normal’ person peering out from the boundaries of suburbia, as a transplant from another state, maybe another planet. As a mother of teenage boys and freelance working writer balancing parenting with helping to care for my mother. And now as an only child of a mother with Alzheimer’s (which sucks).

Mastering The Art Of Pigging Out - My Life In Food - John C. Picardi

Author of the Plays The Sweepers, Seven Rabbits on a Pole and the novel Oliver Pepper's Pickle writes about his life in FOOD!

Book of Mohs

The adventures of an softhearted father

the adventures of ernie bufflo

things magical and mundane: parenting | disability | lifestyle | commentary

The Daily Post

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The Sadder But Wiser Girl

Moving at a million random anxious thoughts per minute